Keeping our teeth their whitest is a lot harder than it sounds. With all the coffee, wine, smoking and other foods that have the ability to stain our teeth on a daily basis, even proper maintenance sometimes leaves them a little lackluster. Teeth whitening is an excellent way to restore the natural color of your teeth or even make them whiter than your natural color if you would like.
To accomplish the whitening of your teeth, we utilize a tray whitening system. This tray whitening system is completed in 2 steps. The first step is to make an impression of your teeth. With this impression, we'll craft you custom whitening trays that you can use over and over. Finally, you will take the whitening gel and put it in the gel for a short period of time over a period of a few days. This often results in a whiter smile of 4 - 8 shades!
Bonding and White Fillings
Bonding is a popular method to enhance the aesthetics of your smile. Bonding can be used to correct cracks or gaps in teeth, as a filling after a cavity has been removed, or to cover up stains or discolored teeth.
A composite resin is used on the affected tooth or teeth. It is molded and sculpted over an adhesive gel that is placed on the tooth. After the resin has been applied an, LED light is used to harden the resin, which is then polished to give you a fresh, new smile.
Bonding is an obvious improvement over unsightly silver amalgam fillings. With the advancements in dental technology, bonding usually lasts for over 10 years. It is a safe, affordable, and attractive solution for many dental problems.
Crowns can be a recommended dental treatment for a number of reasons... esthetic option to change the shape, size or color of multiple teeth if desired, following root canal therapy to protect your investment and prevent the tooth from breaking, cracked teeth, or large areas of decay on a single tooth. If Dr. Cumberland notices that a tooth is weakened due to numerous areas of decay or has cracks, a crown may be necessary to make sure that there are no additional problems with the tooth. In cases like this, a filling or bonding will not be sufficient treatment to prevent future problems that could arise like cracked tooth syndrome pain upon biting and chewing.
Crowns can be made from porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, or a full gold crown. To maintain a natural look and feel a porcelain finished crown is best, as it can be matched to the shade of your other teeth. This will allow it to blend in and appear just like one of your natural teeth.
The process of installing a crown takes 2 visits in our office. On the first visit, the tooth will be reshaped so that the crown can be placed over it. You will be given a local anesthetic before this part of the procedure so that you do not experience any discomfort. Once the tooth has been reshaped, an impression will be taken of that tooth and the surrounding teeth. The impression will be sent to a local dental lab so that your new crown can be fabricated to your tooth in shape, size, and color so that it fits in the spot created for it and looks the same relative to the surrounding teeth. Before leaving, your dentist will fit you with a temporary crown until your permanent crown is ready.
The crown takes about 2 weeks to be returned to your dentist from the dental lab. On the second visit, the temporary crown will be removed and the permanent crown will be tried on for fit, contours, and color. Some patients prefer to have a local anesthetic to numb the area and the tooth prior to removing the temporary crown; however many patients do not need any local anesthetic at all to have the permanent crown placed with cement. Crowns are durable and will usually last about 10-15 years. You should care for it as you would any of your other teeth with regular brushing and flossing.
Veneers are an excellent way to redesign and reshape your entire mouth. Veneers are a very thin ceramic shell that covers your existing tooth structure. In placing these new veneers on your teeth, you are able to fix the look of issues such as staining, cracked teeth, spaces, misaligned teeth, chipped teeth and many other issues.
In terms of the process to place veneers, it is a process that takes approximately two to three visits. In the first visit, we will discuss the new shape and look of what we are going to accomplish by placing the veneers. Once we have put a plan in place, we will carefully prepare the teeth for the placement of the new veneers. As we complete this piece of the process, the next step is to take an impression of the newly prepared teeth. This impression will be sent to our laboratory for the final product to be fabricated. We only utilize the highest standard laboratory for fabrication of all of our work. This process at the laboratory takes between 10-14 days. While the new veneers are being fabricated at the lab, we will provide you with a beautiful temporary solution to wear for this time.
As the veneers are finalized, we will make every effort to make sure that your new veneers will feel just like your natural teeth. We will bond them into place ensuring that you can enjoy your new smile for a very long time!
Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays are often referred to as partial crowns. They use the existing tooth as a base and fit the inlay or onlay onto the tooth. This is done to strengthen the tooth, restore its shape, and prevent further damage. An inlay is done when there is no damage to the cusps of the tooth and the inlay can be placed right on the tooth. An onlay is used when the damage is a little more extensive.
The decayed area of the tooth is first removed during the procedure. A mold of the tooth is then taken and sent to a dental lab. They create a restoration made from porcelain, gold, or a composite resin. The restoration takes about 2-3 weeks to make, so a temporary inlay or onlay will be placed on the tooth for that time. During your next visit the inlay or onlay will be placed into your mouth and set with cement. Your tooth will look natural and you or anyone else won't be able to tell the difference.